Story: A “Take Charge” Angel Lives in Inwood, NY

Hurricane Sandy 2012
Photo: Michele Maki/American Red Cross

Sometimes, losing everything brings clarity and purpose to one’s life. Several years ago, Margo Pettit of Inwood, New York, lost her home to a lightning strike.  “I lost everything,” she said. “And nobody seemed to care.”  But Margo didn’t let bitterness and anger consume her.  “It’s only “stuff.” You can’t take it with you. Would I have liked some help back then? You bet. But that didn’t happen. So, I moved on.” 

That “take charge” attitude of Margo’s is at work once again in her own community, going door to door to check in on her neighbors.

“I’ve lived here my whole life.  This is my community, my town.  I need to help.”

Margo has  been busy, bringing sandwiches, snacks, water, and whatever else she can lay her hands on to deliver to her neighbors.  

“Some of these people have lost their home and everything they own. But I tell them it’s going to be ok. You have your life and your family. That’s what’s important. “

Margo then brightens up, looking across the street as her neighbors lined up in front of the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle to get hot lunches, and mused, “You know, when I saw the Red Cross-when I saw your trucks; I knew we’d be ok.  I know we’re going to be ok. Thank you, Red Cross!”

The Red Cross relief effort continues to expand, reaching into New Jersey and all five boroughs of New York providing meals, hygiene items and comfort items. Red Cross volunteers are also driving through neighborhoods to hand out water, food and relief supplies.  They are also gathering information “first hand” from those in that community so the Red Cross can better respond to those specific needs.

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